Remove this ad


Jun 4 15 12:53 AM

Tags : :

Can anyone point me to any information about the relative width of units in the period, or at least the individual frontage occupied by pikemen, musketeers and cavalry so that I can work back to this?  

I need to form a rough idea of how big an area a box represents.  I anticipate that a box will contain a single formation, ie an ECW pike and shot regiment, except in the case of the smaller Dutch formations where it will represent two battalions.  This will be important when considering musket range.
Quote    Reply   
Remove this ad
Remove this ad

#3 [url]

Jun 9 15 12:42 PM

Today's thoughts are that I might want to develop two separate but closely related sets, one for TYW and one for ECW; the ECW set having more smaller units and a campaign mechanism.

Quote    Reply   

#4 [url]

Jun 26 15 1:26 AM


I have recently been contemplating writing a set of rules (based on Piquet FoB) for TYW. I think the important thing is to make the pike & shot units look right, so I spent a lot of time reading up on formations.

I came to the conclusion that the best representation is 3 bases (shot/pike/shot) 60mm wide, so they will fit into a 200mm box.

I planned a single rank of figures on each base representing about 3 of real men, so 2 ranks of figures for 6 ranks of men and 3 for the deeper 10 men.

This is actually the same as in FoG Renaissance - but I got there separately.


Last Edited By: SteveMetheringham Jun 26 15 1:31 AM. Edited 2 times.

Quote    Reply   

#5 [url]

Jun 26 15 7:44 AM

I think you are right, Steve, for the larger battles.  

I do see a lot of people, though, with units twice that width, though, so I'm thinking about having the option for units to go two boxes wide.  This would mean that the system would be aimed primarily at the smaller battles, at least for home use, with the largest battles needing to take place on big tables at shows.

An alternative would be to do the rules in two representative scales, normal and "epic" so that it would cover battles both small and large.  

Needs some thought!

Quote    Reply   

#6 [url]

Jun 26 15 9:31 AM

My first thoughts (unfortunately without much experience of the existing game as you know Simon), is there any reason why a 'regiment' of combined pike and shotte can't be spread across adjacent boxes? (assuming boxes will stay the same dimensions as they are now?) - of course both sleeves of musket could presumably occupy the same box as regular or small units? and assuming pike is likely to be a 'deep' unit?
To me this means you still have a cohesive 'unit' but with component parts that can act as necessary so, pike block with sleeves of musket either side as standard, or muskets 'forward', or pikes 'forward' - we also need to allow for a 'hedgehog' formation, but not sure how to implement that one!

Quote    Reply   

#7 [url]

Jun 26 15 2:37 PM

Hi Nick,

It'll need some changes.  For a start units have one, two or three hits; a larger unit across two boxes might need 4-6.  It wouldn't be appropriate for such a unit to be disordered after a single hit, it would need two or three.  I'm actually thinking about a different mechanism to hits for TYW/ECW, with units having more hits and a morale system to determine when they are disordered.

I'm not sure that pike would generally deep; much of the time they seem to have been the same depth as the shot, perhaps only 6 ranks deep in the ECW.  But the rules would also need to cope with the early Spanish formations.

An d I do agree about pike forward, musket forward and hedgehog; they all need to be represented!

Best, Simon

Quote    Reply   

#8 [url]

Jun 27 15 1:36 AM


If possible I think it might be better to avoid too much complexity, and try and keep units as a single fomation.

If you adopted a 200mm x 200mm for 28mm, that will fit a 180mm wide shot/pike shot unit (that is what I use - so I am obviously biased) .

For units wider than this such as tercios (which might have a frontage of S/P/P/S you could have the pike in the box, and let the musket hang out the sides a bit, after all the large tercios were designed to have gaps between them, there could still be space to have guns or cavalry in the box between. Alternatively let the straddle two boxes, the tercio would probably have a large break point, so could make them man enough to do so.

Admittedly that only gives a 9x6 grid which is not a lot to play with????????


Quote    Reply   

#9 [url]

Jun 27 15 2:55 AM

Hi Steve,

I quite fancy using the elements to represent different formations, so a player can decide if he wants to have his regiment optimised for shooting or melee.  A Swedish brigade often had one regiment in the lead with its musketeers tucked behind the pike, ready for melee, with two flanking regiments optimised for shooting.  It would be nice to be able to represent this with three units spread across two boxes.  That said, using that system, one would need an extremely wide table to play Breitenfeld, or Edgehill for that matter!  On a 9 box wide table one would get two brigades with cavalry wings, or two to three brigades on a 12.  Breitenfeld had four Swedish Brigades and the Saxons too, so would be perhaps 20 boxes wide.  One for a club game!

My  thinking is that most units will consist of two sleeves of musketeers flanking a unit of pike.  However early on the ratios were different- the Spanish and early Dutch were nearer to 50/50 and I need to be able to account for them too, probably as two blocks of pike and two muskets.

Best, Simon


Quote    Reply   

#10 [url]

Jul 1 15 12:43 AM

I would like to see the 'grid' maintain the same sized boxes as the current rules if possible, dependant on scale and playing area... if I've marked out my gaming table/mat for plating TTS! I would like to be able to play any variants on the same grid rather than marking it all out again at different sizes?

I think the one/two box idea could work, admittedly as you say, we won't get very big engagements in 28mm on a 'normal' sized gaming table... but then you never really do in any system using 28mm, or at least ones where the units look like anything like actual blocks of pike and shotte?

Something else to aware of is that a lot of gamers will build their armies from Warlord's excellent plastic box sets, where a pike block is 16 men (usually 80x80mm) and each sleeve of shotte  is 12men (usually 120x40mm) - although these are more often than not built of 40x40mm bases so some variation is possible, like dropping the muskets to 8 men each - but I think we need to be able to accomodate this??

Quote    Reply   
Remove this ad

#11 [url]

Jul 1 15 4:06 AM

Hi Nick,

So a typical Warlord unit will be 32cm wide?  I think quite a few people have units that size for various systems.  There would seem to be a lot to be said for units that run across two squares.

In terms of grid sizes most player's grids tend to be 15cm or 20cm.  I mostly use 20cm, but use 15cm for some games and tournaments.  With some using 15cm and others 20, and people having units of various widths, it will be hard to commit to a system that will work for everyone...  However I think that 28mm players with large units like the Warlords ones will want a 20cm grid and a able 8' wde or wider.  Players with less wide units (30cm or less) will get away with 6'.

Best Simon

Quote    Reply   

#12 [url]

Jul 1 15 9:06 AM

BigRedBat wrote:
...So a typical Warlord unit will be 32cm wide?  I think quite a few people have units that size for various systems.  There would seem to be a lot to be said for units that run across two squares.

Yes Simon, although Warlord's P&S author's latest project has smaller sleeves of shot 80mm wide... so leaving a small gap between the three elements that would fit nicely across 2x 150mm boxes? which is probably what I would need to do too as my normal gaming table has yet to extend beyond 6'x4' with the requisite 150mm boxes (even though I am most likley to test in a smaller scale).  Of course that does mean 320mm units even with small gaps would also fit appropriately across 2x 200mm boxes, even if the pike block or sleeves of musket grew slightly :)

Quote    Reply   

#13 [url]

Jul 1 15 10:46 AM

If I was looking at a 20cm grid, I'd probably build units 36cm wide, with 12cm each wide pike and sleeves, each of 16 minis on a 15cm frontage, for a total 48 minis.  I reckon that would look the biz!  :-) Minis would also work with the WRG system.  From what I've read pike was generally the same (or similar) depth as shot, and I think 2 deep would work well.  For a 15cm grid, 8cm or 9cm sleeves would work best with around 10 minis on each; thus 30 man units.  

How does that sound?

Quote    Reply   

#14 [url]

Dec 7 15 4:19 PM

Follow up thoughts


Not sure if this discussion is moribund yet, but I had some thoughts that might help.

I have yet to play the game, but have read the rules, like what I see, and have watched some buddies play the game. I have also been a "renaissance" (for want of a better term) gamer for close to 40 years, and have yet to find the perfect set. So read into that what you will.

I find the grid discussion for this period interesting, as it directly deals with what is effectively the major point of transition, that separates this period from those before and after. Swiss, Colunella, Tercio, Dutch, Swedish, bastard Tercio, linear, are all advances in systems designed to deal with an ever changing environment. So there are traceable themes across all of these, and none are comletely isolated from what came before, and what came after.

One of the best works I have read on the "Spanish" system, was written by Neil Danskin and published by the Pike & Shot Society in the 90s. He proposed that the Tercio, although portrayed as a large block of pike with shot at the corners, and apparently rigid and monolythic, was actually a lot more flexible than often given credit for. Effectively units or sub-units of pike could be removed from the central bloke and used to support other parts of the whole as necessary and when required.
The "Commentaries" of Sir Francis Vere seem to support this. He describes how the first line at Niueport (which he led) was attacked by the Spanish tercios, primarily by shot backed up by pikes to provide protection should the allies counter attack. He describes the turning point coming as the Spanish gradually became disordered with the pike and shot units all intermingled, when the allies front line charged and defeated them.

Now, I'm not sure if the intent of TTS is to represent the larger units as single bodies, or all the individual component parts; legions not cohorts, Tercios not pike blocks and seperate sleeves. If it is the bigger over all unit, then a large unit in a large box is probably the solution. But if it is to reflect the flexibility of the component parts, then I wonder if the 150mm box isn't better, but with units in adjacent boxes being aligned in some way which allows them to move as a whole, or to break up into seperate supporting bodies if necessary? (With suitable command tests as appropriate)

Anyway, just some thoughts, but if you can get your hands on Neil Danskins work, it is worth a read.



Quote    Reply   

#15 [url]

Dec 9 15 3:01 PM


It has become gernerally accepted that the traditional depiction of Tercios as "bastioned sqaures" is probnably NOT how they actually fouight, and that the Tercio itsaelf was an administrative rather than a tactical unit. The Tercio would probably be deployed as several smaller subunits, with the shot in a thin line to the front and larger blocks on the wings - not that disimilar from the later Dutch practice, but with consioderably deeper rankks of both pIke and shot. 

Quote    Reply   

#16 [url]

Dec 10 15 6:56 AM

Yes indeed chaps, the one thing that came through loud and clear to me after my brief researches on Tercios was that there is a great deal of uncertainty about tercios! Breitenfeld broke my spirits when I realised that we knew very little detail regarding the Imperialist tercios, how many ranks etc.

Re the tercio in a square or tercio composed of a number of sub units, it comes down to what size of battle the game would be used for. The larger battlles need the former scale, and with the latter one would (generally) be fighting a minor battle. It's almost two different sets of rules. The rules engine would work with either set but I'd need to decide which set I was writing! It might well be the latter, with the tercio as a command consisting of a number of sub units. We could always get three or 4 players together, a side, in order to fight the larger battles.

Quote    Reply   

#17 [url]

Apr 25 16 8:01 AM

Well, I am beginning to get my teeth into these questions with the aim of refighting Edgehill. I am essentially looking for away of playing the big battles rather than skirmishes. I thought Edgehill was a good starter because it can be used to test Swedish v Dutch cavalry deployment (3 ranks as opposed to 6), and standard 'battalia' against 'big brigades (Swedish)'. At present I am looking at the size of units, and not working on all the complexities of ammunition etc. So, do what it is worth, the following are my first thoughts!

Standard unit: For Edgehill I thought about 250 horse or dragoons, or 450-500 foot would make a useful base unit. My existing 10mm collections have either 10musketeers, 16 pikes or 5 horse on a 1 1/2" square base. So, a standard unit is three bases, side by side, and fits into a 150cm square. My Parliamentarian foot would be a straightforward 18 battalia of 2:1 musket to pike. Job done. Now, how to do a Swedish brigade of Royalists? Well, if I do a single unit on the same scale, I end up with an 8 hit permanently disordered behemoth which will never be destroyed. So, either change the hit system, or represent it as multiple elements? No contest. Multiple elements it is. My SBs will be four standard bases, two boxes wide, two deep. It will be one unit up, two side by side in the second line, one behind in the third line. My first thought for Edgehill is to give the Royalists lots of pike, and so make the first line all pike, the second line two units with 1/2 musket to pike ratio, and a third line of 2/1. So a total of 6/6 pikes and muskets. I am currently leaning to having them move together, difficult moves being doubly difficult as befits deep units, changing facing by 90 degrees being doubly, doubly difficult, and impossible if any part of the unit is in an enemy ZOC. In combat they fight, and suffer disorder and elimination, as single units. If the centre unit is in melee, the flank units can only be in shooting combat. As I think this out as I type, given that the centre front unit straddles two squares, when it attacks one or other of this front squares, that wing of the brigade gets a shot at disordering the enemy before melee. Ammo would be allocated to each base of musketeers, so in this case there could be two shots. Enough for now, I am still thinking! A Diagram of my Swedish brigade would be:




Last Edited By: Mollinary Apr 25 16 8:36 AM. Edited 2 times.

Quote    Reply   

#18 [url]

Apr 25 16 8:28 AM

And so on to cavalry. I think my standard cavalry unit is fine for the Royalist, three deep, Swedish, style. So how to represent the old fashioned, six deep, Dutch? Well , I could make them a normal deep unit, but then they would only have one per box and 3hits as opposed to the standard two. Doable, but not sure I am over keen. An alternative is to go for a new deep category which takes only two hits, but can deploy two units side by side in a box. Only one of the two can combat in any one activation, apart from movement. As deep units, difficult moves are doubly difficult. Each unit would have one ammo pip, the same as a Swedish unit.
I think the Parliamentarian Cuirassier units would be small, one hit units, but would be the equivalent of ancient cataphracts? They would not have the two square move option of normal cavalry.

Much to my surprise, I think I am making progress in this!


Quote    Reply   

#19 [url]

Apr 25 16 9:33 AM

Hi Mollinary,

Edgehill is probably a great place to start. For cavalry you could try small units/standard units. Or you could have all the cavalry units having 2 hits but the 3 ranks only hitting on an 8. If the cavalry are "deep" they will become less manoeuvrable, which might be undesirable.

Yesterday I was discussing the ECW with Mark Freeth. I said that I would like to introduce a Medieval or ECW or Fantasy game (alongside the ancients) next time if I can get suitable minis and rules; I think people might enjoy trying something that is similar to TtS but with a twist...

Best Simon

Quote    Reply   

#20 [url]

Apr 25 16 9:56 AM

Hi Simon,

Welcome back! I hope the weekend was a great success. I thought about size of unit for the cavalry quite carefully. 250 as a standard unit gives the Royalists 11 cavalry units, 450 foot gives them 20 infantry units in four brigades. Add two or three dragoon units and you have 33-34 units, probably about ideal for one side of a big battle. If those cavalry are units are small, then it looks a bit odd if the same sized infantry units are not. If the infantry units are as well, then a brigade is four hits total, and the infantry line will probably collapse very quickly. I think this needs play testing. Deep making it more difficult for the early Parliamentarian cavalry to manoeuvre seems about right to me, but I don't want the extra resilience of giving them three hits. My impression is this six deep cavalry deployment doesn't last long beyond Edgehill, so it would almost be a battle specific formation for the ECW, but might make more sense in the TYW. Something that occurs to me as difficult to model in the current context of the rules is the tendency of ECW troops, both horse and foot, to leg it at the first opportunity! Edgehill is a prime example of this. Come to think of it, it could be seen as a possible area of development for v2 of the normal rules. Even raw, deep units take an awful lot of shifting. Perhaps raw units should have one less hit than their normal counterparts? They might still only hit in melee on an eight, but would have a standard saving throw? Just a few thoughts. It would be great to get some ECW at the WHC. On my table Edgehill will have about 2,000+ 10mm figures to play on a 15cm squared board. But it would be possible, even with my collection, to double that number on a bigger table with bigger squares.


Quote    Reply   
Remove this ad
Add Reply

Quick Reply

bbcode help